After the horrid and the deadliest in decades February 14 Pulwama attack led by a Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) suicide bomber who rammed a bus carrying CRPF personnel from Jammu to Srinagar with an explosive-laden vehicle killing more than 40 Jawans, the country is fuming with grief, resentment, and anger. Soon after the reports of the attack made Indians’ blood run cold, Pakistani Jihadi group Jaish-e-Mohammed claimed responsibility for the terror strike. Outrage against Pakistan and the need to teach Pak a lesson could be heard from every nook and corner of the country and the rage strengthened with Indian political leadership promising a payback to Pak and the Prime Minister himself giving a free hand to the Indian Army.
In the meantime, when the ‘nationalism’ started getting its much-needed push before the upcoming general elections, MNS chief Raj Thackeray describing the martyred CRPF personnel as the ‘political victims’ and asking for an investigation against National Security Advisor Ajit Doval to ‘bring the truth out’ has created enough hubbub in the political corridors.
MNS General Secretary Shalini Thackeray stated, “Whatever Raj Thackeray has said is self-explanatory in itself. There must be a probe on the country’s National Security Advisor. It is the responsibility of the government to investigate the attack. As far as I remember, Raj Thackeray, six months back from now, had said that such kinds of incidents are going to increase as the elections are coming nearer.”
While Thackeray grabbed many eyeballs being the first one to target the Narendra Modi-led central government by charging NSA Doval for the Pulwama attack, others in favour of the BJP government including ‘revived’ ally Shiv Sena feel this is Thackeray’s attempt to get some limelight ahead of the Maharashtra Assembly and Lok Sabha elections due this year.
“Raj Thackeray claiming probe on Ajit Doval’s role in Pulwama attack is absolutely invalid and merely to gain popularity. The gruesome attack is being politicised. The entire country knows that it was a terrorist attack and PM Modi will take necessary action teaching Pakistan a lesson,” exclaimed Shiv Sena MP Krupal Tumane.
Being in the queue with Congress that has been criticising the Prime Minister for his ‘misplaced priorities’ since last week, Thackeray, while speaking in Kolhapur district of Maharashtra, accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of shooting a film at the Corbett National Park in Uttarakhand at the time of the attack. “Even after the news of the terror attack was flashed, his shooting continued,” he said. “Lust for power holds more importance than soldiers,” Congress President Rahul Gandhi mocked the PM calling him the “Prime Time Minister”. The saffron ruling party, however, shrugged off the allegations and accused Congress of spreading fake news. “Every government manufactured such things but it is taking place more frequently under Modi’s rule,” stated Thackeray. While a large section of the netizens applauded Thackeray for his ‘guts’ and for ‘being the one leader who can speak the mind of many Indians’, the Maharashtra BJP leaders targeted MNS chief for “aping Rahul Gandhi”.
Congress leader Ravindra Dalvi said, “As rightly claimed by Raj Thackeray, there must be a probe. Families of the martyred Jawans and the entire nation want to know how so much RDX can enter into the country! Ajit Doval is the National Security Advisor and he must be questioned. In spite of solid border security, many soldiers have lost their lives in the last four and a half years. After 26/11 Mumbai attack, the then Maharashtra CM Vilasrao Deshmukh resigned and Ajit Doval should resign too.”
In the wake of the terror attack in Pulwama, a major diplomatic offensive was launched by India against Islamabad highlighting the neighbouring nation’s tendency of using terrorism as an instrument of its state policy. India has also asked Pakistan to take immediate action against terror groups and terrorists operating from its land. Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan broke his silence on the fifth day since the attack took place. Rejecting allegations against Pak’s involvement in terror-sponsoring, Khan called Pak a victim of terrorism and said that ‘disclaiming his country’s link with terrorist attacks is an oft-repeated excuse by the neighbouring country’. “If Pakistan is attacked, then we will retaliate,” Khan responded. Later, he also reiterated his intention to take ‘immediate action’ against if India provides him with ‘actionable evidence’.
BJP MP Harishchandra Chavan exclaimed, “The government will decide what action is necessary at this moment. MNS chief Raj Thackeray’s demand for a probe on NSA Doval is solely a personal and political opinion. If there’s any truth in Thackeray’s claims, the government will take action.”
By Moumita Mukherjee & Gautam Korde